A Program of the Katie Johnson Fellowship

The Wabe of Whidbey Island
The Wabe of Whidbey Island

Be Part of Something Wonderfully Unusual!

Mission: To encourage and support friendships, adventures and artistic expressions between some with severe disabilities and friends who adore them.

The Wabe of Whidbey Island is a small two week summer camp near Seattle, WA where about 30 to 35 people of differing abilities and disabilities enjoy and explore together a program of creative arts and summer activities. It is a time and place of expanding awareness and friendship.

In The Wabe we discover different ways of doing just about everything. Some of us require help with ordinary daily needs – perhaps eating, bathing, communicating. Others willingly provide that help – assuring inclusion and participation of all.

We get energy and joy from one another as we pursue many different activities. It brings us back – summer after summer – for more!

The Wabe has changed my life in countless ways. The friendships I’ve developed through my years at camp have deeply impacted what I want to do with my life. These camps are so ingrained in my family’s history; it is important to me to be able to see my siblings and cousins mature and grow at The Wabe. I love everyone at this camp so dearly; I laugh more in those two weeks than any other time in the year.
– Alice Weaver

The world of disabilities can be lonely. The Wabe creates a new family with the willingness and open heartedness of friends. Dylan found a community in The Wabe that he hasn’t found before. It has enriched his life.

When people ask Dylan about The Wabe he refers to the play – a good example of how it brings out the individual personalities of everyone. I was blown away by it.
– Sarah Manchester

Art in the garden, led by professional artist Melissa Dold.

Practicing for the end of camp play, “Try Everything”.

Cutting loose and engaging in rowdy fun is our delight.

We love to sing and dance, put on plays, host friends at our gourmet dinners and tell story, upon story, upon story….

We come together in the spirit of friendship for two weeks of Camp each July. We push each other, often out of our comfort zones, to participate fully in the wide range of fun filled summer activities.

  • Each person who needs special help is partnered with a mate or mates who can give that help wherever and whenever it is needed.

  • We live together, eat together, and share all activities with one another

  • Life long friendships evolve and grow

  • There is no tuition, and all who participate do so as volunteers. (However, we occasionally offer a small stipend for a specialized sign language interpreter.)

  • Those who can afford to, give $50 a week toward expenses. Some give more.

  • We all share in fundraising to make our summers in The Wabe of Whidbey possible.

Katie Johnson Fellowship Logo

“The best way to explain it is to do it.” 

-Lewis Carroll – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

The Wabe of Whidbey Seal

Look Through Our Photo Gallery

We are Part of the Community

We are invited to the homes, studios, woodlands and beaches of Whidbey friends; we love the “hot” spots and “cool” places; we hang out at the local coffee shops and ice cream parlors; we go to island events, competitions, churches, auctions, fairs, concerts, parades, plays – whatever we can find!

Watch the Video

We are Artists

We delight in painting, collage making, and pottery – working with our friends who are professional artists when not at at camp; and visiting art studios on Whidbey

We are Athletes

We have yoga before breakfast, we enjoy swimming (so many opportunities on Whidbey), horse riding, creative sports’ games on the Parade Field at Camp Casey, bike riding (some adaptive bikes), canoeing, and walks together everywhere.

We are Writers and Story Tellers

We love telling and sharing stories (abundantly, especially after dinner); writing poems – with or without rhyme, and adventuring in Haiku and Limericks. Everyone works on puns (sometimes called punishments).

We are Show People

During each summer we work together in creating an end of camp musical play – written to show off our particular talents and favorite songs. These plays always include singing, dancing, the use of whatever instruments we can play, and always a humorous and frequently ad libbed script.

We have Studio Nights for the performance of works in progress, and daily After Dinner Theatre for sharing skits, telling tales of the day’s adventures, showing off a newly discovered talent, sharing daily findings, or presenting a new work in painting, pottery, poetry or other art.

“Only when differences are accepted, not as a threat but as a treasure, is each one free to be him or herself.” 

-Jean Vanier